An entertainment promoter, Iwalewa Coker, recently urged the Federal Government to create platforms to properly educate Nigerians on the history of slavery and its abolition.
Coker, Founder, Carnival and Cultural Pride, told Newsmen that this could be done through publications, sensitization programmes and more.
He added that if the government placed importance on the national history of slavery and its abolition, it would be better to enlighten the young generation on how to curb it.
According to him, such history is necessary for the younger generation to adequately see the bad sides of slavery and make plans for the present and future.
Coker also urged the Federal government to declare a public holiday for the “International Day of Abolition of Slavery” to educate youths on its history.
He commended the government for its effort so far by preserving slave trade history in national museums and Badary resort.
According to him, it is a good effort by the government, but more needs to be done beyond the Museums in order to reach out to the grassroots.
He said that widening such knowledge would expose and prevent the adverse effect of slavery on today’s world.
“International day of slavery is recognized but not given enough attention, the government needs to declare such day as a public holiday.
“In doing so, the younger generation would make conscious effort to discourage any action that could encourage the return of slavery,” he said.
Coker expressed worry over the fact that slavery had not totally been eradicated in Nigeria, as it was still in existence in so many other aspects of human life.
“Slavery is not totally eradicated, it still exists in so many aspects and fields of life.
“Bringing toddlers from neighbouring countries for money-making here in Nigeria is slavery, parents maltreating their wards and engaging them in street hawking is slavery.
“Also, long hours of working with little payment, delaying workers’ salaries and all these are still traces of slavery.
“We need conscious things to totally eradicate slavery in our communities, declaring it a public holiday will enable individuals to know more about the history and consciously jettison all forms of slavery,” he said.
He noted that government must also focus more on educating Nigerians on the history around slavery by exploring diverse measures.
He said that the nation’s culture was capable of uniting the people to boost peace and unity.
“Peace and unity is achievable in Nigeria, Nigeria is a blessed nation among all, a Nation with 200 million people, with 321 ethnic groups and almost 700 different indigenous languages.
“Nigerians have been living together as one, even before the emergence of the colonialists and we can still achieve this.
“Unity is an art to love and live together, we need to go back to our history and roots, by appreciating our culture, promoting our language, especially our mother tongue.
“Orientating the people and informing them to learn other people’s culture and the benefit from it, our culture is capable of bringing us together again,” he said.
Advocate. ng observed that the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is a yearly event commemorated every December 2, by the United Nations General Assembly since 1986.
Newsmen reports that the 2021 event, organized by GO Culture, in collaboration with Lagos State Tourism, Freedom Park and UNESCO, comes up on Monday, 23rd August 2021.